Monday, November 2, 2015

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, DD

"The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord." (Ps. 37:23)
God has a plan for our lives.  He knows all about us, cares for us and loves us with an eternal love! From our first breath to the last, our Heavenly Father watches over us!
it is His divine will and pur­pose, that we give ourselves totally to Him through His Son Jesus Christ, Who died for our sins in order to purchase our salvation!
God has a plan for our lives, the same as He has for the earth and universe - which He created and upholds by the Word of His power! (Heb. 1:3)
Albert Einstein - one of the world's most celebrated scientists stated, "I can never believe that God throws dice!"
Einstein was aware - like many of his colleagues - that it is scientific­ally impossible for a precise, perfect­ly ordered universe such as ours, to have happened through some fluke of chance! That is only a pipe-dream of foolish evolutionists!  
     Werner Von Braun, head of NASA's man-on-the-moon project stated, "The farther we probe into space, the more I believe in God".
The brilliant space scientist often communicated his strong belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and his own personal Saviour!
Here is a portion of his personal testimony:  "Manned space flight is an amazing achievement, but it has opened for us thus far only a tiny door for viewing the awesome reaches of space.  Our outlook through this peephole at the vast mysteries of the universe only confirms our belief in the certainty of its creaton.
      "It is only natural for a scientist, working with God's universe, to believe in Him.  It is as difficult for me to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe, as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science."
     Concerning his own faith, the man behind the moon walk declared, "I find it best through faith to accept God as an intelligent will, perfect in goodness, revealing Himself in the world of experience more fully down through the ages as man's capacity for understanding grows".
Because science has made strides, he felt that people put too much faith in it. "We should remember that science exists only because there are people and its concepts exists only in the mind of men."
He believed that God built within man a curiosity and expects us to use this gift. And since we have the tools available to explore space and if it were not the Creator's intent for us to explore celestial bodies, He would not have permitted us to acquire them!
Werner von Braun received great strength through reading the Bible, and guidance through prayer. His belief in life after death has a scientific foundation.  "Science has found that nothing can disappear without a trace.  Nature does not know extinction.  All it knows is transformation.  Now, if God applies this fundamental principle to the most minute and insignificant parts of His universe, doesn't it make sense to assume that He applies it also to the masterpiece of His creation - the human soul?  I think it does".
H.G. Wells was the chief spokesman and leading luminary of the “atheist science and evolutionary, agnostic, anti-Biblical elite” for decades. Before his death, he was a disappointed and crushed man and he felt everything he had believed in for so long had failed him.


These are questions that thinking people have asked for millennia.  Since time immemorial, Adam and Eve's posterity have struggled with the problem of identity.  And searched for their place in the sun!
Like Job - the ancient Bible character - many of our nearly six billion people wonder, "If a man dies, will he live again?" (Job 14:14)
Preachers, prophets and philosophers never stop poking their long index finger toward us, with the all-important question, "Where will you spend eternity?"
Attending the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a child, I remember the almost apocalyptic tone in our Pastor's voice, as he pronounced the benediction.
       In my young heart, I wondered about a God Who is without beginning and end.  And the same yesterday, today and for­ever! I also pondered my own existence in a world that will be eternal.  One which transcends death - a world which will never end! And I shuddered at the prospect of having to participate in this "world of forever", in either Heaven or Hell - whether I liked it or not.
I wasn't so sure that I wanted to live forever, even if it was in a per­fect paradise of peace called Heaven!
Have you ever tried to rationalize, philosophize or ponder these issues?  I'm sure most everyone reading this book has experienced similar thoughts, fears, feelings or frustra­tions!
Why?  Because of the uniqueness of birth, the uncertainties of life, the certainty of death and the fear of eternity!
I'm happy to report that at age 24, I had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ which forever sealed my allegiance and love to Him.  As well as my eternal destiny, with the redeemed!
It was at that moment that I began to really live!  And the older I become, the more thankful I am to God for His provision of eternal life for us all, through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ!
Now, I have the answers to the perplexing questions of life and death!

NO. 1

"And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them..." (Gen. 1:26-27)
"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." (Gen. 2:7)
I am a human being created in God's image.  I am unique, made in His likeness.  There is no one exactly like me, among the almost 6 billion people upon this clod!
It's difficult to comprehend how marvellously we have been created, with individual lipprints, fingerprints and footprints.  And each one with an eternal spirit that will live forever!
Every human being is unique and special; created in the image of God.  And He has a plan for each of our lives.
The Bible says: "I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them." (Ps. 139:14-16)
WE ARE TRIUNE, AS GOD IS TRIUNE!  He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and we are spirit, soul and body!  We have all been given a free will and the right to choose between God and the devil and between good and evil!
God created three kingdoms to live on planet Earth:  1) The Plant Kingdom, 2) The Animal Kingdom, 3) The Human Kingdom.
Plants have life but they have no mind or spirit.  Animals have life like the plants, but they have a mind.  They can feel happiness or sadness and they can understand, to a point.  Animals can also be affectionate or ferocious.
Animals do not pray or worship God, because they have no eternal spirit or soul. Man has life like the plants, has a mind like the animals, albeit a far superior intellect.  But man also has an eternal soul or spirit through which he can fellowship with God!
It is important to note that only man has an eternal spirit or soul that was created by Almighty God!   Who am I?  A special creation of God!
I am blessed by the Lord, needed by my fellowman and endowed with compassion and love for others, in order to bring God's saving and healing power to my generation!
Secular humanists as well as advocates of the New Age Movement are eager proponents of diabolical doctrines.  They teach that human beings need no God but themselves!  Their major doctrine is that we are gods!
Here is a concise list of what these false, deceptive cults ardently believe and fanatically promote: 1)  SECULAR HUMANISTS 2)  NEW AGE MOVEMENT


Theologians teach that there are three approaches people may take to God, the Bible and the Church.  Here they are:
1)  Atheistic Approach - Proponents of this ideology say that there is no God and the Bible is only the writings of men. Atheists, communists and some evolutionists hold to this viewpoint! They actuallay think they are equal to God or above God.  
  These poor deluded souls may end up like Adolf Hitler, the infamous murderer who called himself Den Fuhrer or The Leader and had God's Name inscribed on the belt buckles of his soldiers!
    There is no doubt that Hitler was referring to himself as God, for even though he was a Roman Catholic and had worked closely with some leaders of that church, yet he broke God's laws and dessimated the Jews, God's Chosen People.    And he feared and hated Evangelical Christians, that arm of the Church which God uses to reach the lost for Himself!  Adolf Hitler said that he wished his soldiers were Mohammedans because,"They have no conscience!"
2)  Rationalistic Approach - Those who believe this teaching say:  Whatever corresponds to reason, whatever we can see, hear and understand, we will accept in the Bible about God.  However, whatever we cannot reason out or rationalize about God and the Bible, we will reject!  Many false cults favour this philosophy of religion!
3)  Fundamentalistic Approach - We who adhere to the fundamentalistic approach accept everything about God which we can understand.  Everything in the Bible which corresponds to reason, we accept.  We go a step further, however, whatever we cannot understand or are unable to reason out about God and His Word, if it’s in the Bible, we take it by faith, because we realize that it is impossible for the created being to fully understand our Creator and His Word is absolute, authoritative and true!
4)  The Realistic Approach - New Testament, Full Gospel, Pentecostal believers go another step further.  We believe the gospel of Jesus Christ really works.  We not only sing the song ‘Standing on the Promises’, we stand on God’s Word.  We believe the Full Gospel of Christ!  Those who repent of their sins and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, receive new life and are born again.  Those who are hungry for the Holy Spirit and ask Him in faith, are filled.

NO. 2

The Hebrew word for man (Gen. 1:27; 2:7) is Adahm which literally means, "The blood (life) of God"! God is all powerful, wise, just, perfect and benevolent.  We were created in His likness.
The Bible states that our "spirit man" has come from God and when death takes place, our spirits will again be separated from our bodies and we will return to God!
"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God Who gave it." (Ecc. 12:7)
And King Solomon speaks of God placing a little bit of "eternity in our hearts"! (Ecc. 3:11)
What is that "eternity" that He has placed in the human spirit of every man?
It is our conscience.  St. Paul calls it, "the word of God in our members". (Rom. 7:18-25; 8:1-2)
The plain truth is that we all have a spark of God within us.  Our spirit (inner man) is eternal, created by God.
When God created Adam, He took of Himself to make him a living soul (spirit).  He made man from His own blood (life).

NO. 3

Satan, the enemy of God, hates and despises God's highest creation, man!  He also has a plan for our lives: a plan which is devious, cruel, evil and destructive!
Jesus Christ stated, "The thief cometh not but for to steal, kill and destroy. I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly". (John 10:10
St. John records the purpose of Christ's first advent: "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil". (1 Jn. 3:8). There are two reasons why God has placed us upon the earth:
1)  To Love God!
2)  To Love our Fellowman!
We have been placed upon this earth for the purpose of worshipping and serving God, and ministering the love of God to our fellowman!
We are all travellers into eternity.  Destination - either Heaven or Hell!  "We were created with a blank space (vacuum) in our hearts that only God can fill", as Blaise Pascal stated!
It is no secret, that an awesome battle rages constantly between God and the devil for the souls of lost humanity! Who will win that battle for your soul?  That depends upon you!  
     General Joshua stated, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". (Josh. 24:15). God has a purpose for each of our lives!
He desires our love, obedience and help!  He sent Jesus Christ into the world "to seek and to save that which was lost". (Luke 19:10)
St. Paul writes of the Church, which "He purchased through His blood". (Acts 20:28)  We are redeemed, purchased, washed, purged, purified, sanctified, healed and empowered by the precious blood of Jesus Christ!
                                         FOR WHAT PURPOSE?
To become living stones in His building (1 Peter 2:4-5), members of His body (Eph. 5:30), ambassadors of His Kingdom and proclaimers of the glad Gospel message! (Mark 15:15-16)
St. Paul wrote, "Ye are epistles seen and read of all men". (2 Cor. 3:2)
We who name the Name of Christ are the only Bible some sinners will ever read!
3)  We are the Salt of the Earth!
Jesus said, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men”. (Matt. 5:13)
What does salt do?
No. 1 - It is a preservative.  And that is precisely what Jesus was referring to here.  We as Christians act as a preservative - holding back God’s judgments upon this earth until we can persuade our fellowman to repent!
Notice, God promised Abraham that He would spare the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plain from destruction if there were 10 righteous people in Sodom!
But there were not!  Ten righteous souls would have held back God’s judgment on those wicked cities.
The Bible says that if a man who is a believer in Jesus Christ is married to an unbeliever, if she keeps the faith, her husband and their offspring is sanctified (made holy) by the faith of the believing mother!
“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” (1 Cor. 7:14)
The word ‘religion’ comes from the Latin words re and ligio - which means “to hold back”.  We hold back the surge of wickedness in the world.  We hold back the flood of unrighteousness, wickedness and lawlessness as well as God’s judgment upon this world by our godly testimony and the presence of the Holy Spirit!
No. 2 - It is a cleansing agent.
No. 3 - It gives flavour and taste.
No. 4 - It makes people thirsty.
Our lives should help cleanse people’s hearts by the preaching of the gospel. We should give this world a taste of God’s goodness and our testimony and preaching should make people thirsty for God and His Word!

NO. 4

Jesus Christ spoke of two roads upon which mankind may travel into eternity.  One is the way of truth and righteousness, which leads to life.  And Jesus is that way! (John 14:6)
The other road is the way of darkness and sin, and eventual damnation.  Satan, the lying deceiver, is the conductor on that train!
Here are the words of Jesus on this very important matter:
"Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
"Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."  (Matt. 7:13-14)
The Bible says, "There is a way which seemeth right unto man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death". (Prov. 14:12)
Prophet Isaiah warns, "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon". (Is. 55:6-7)
Prophet Jeremiah also chides, "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings ...." (Jer. 7:3) What must we do in order to receive God's forgiveness and blessing?
   The Bible says: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.
"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.  The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
"Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.  For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish." (Psalm 1:1-6)
   There is no better way of being sure we are on the right track, than by heeding the high call of God to our souls.
     And by following other successful men and women of God, we will be certain of spiritual victory!  Let us use them as role models and examples for ourselves today!  Read what God told Joshua:
"Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses My servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." (Josh 1:7-9)
Jesus told a parable about two men: One who built his house upon the sand and the other, who built his house upon a rock!
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
"And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." (Matt. 7:24-27)

NO. 5

Jesus Christ invites us all to come to Him, for He is the world's only Saviour.  He alone has all the answers to the complexities of life.
The blessed Holy Spirit desires to teach us how to live and also how to die, when that time comes! Jesus is the great physician Who heals broken hearts and lives!  And He loves us all and waits for us to call upon His Name for salvation.
He said, "Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest". (Matt. 11:28). And that is good news! 
St. John issues this stern warning in the Apocalypse:
"And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  
    "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Rev. 20:11-15)
This Scripture corresponds with the warnings of Prophet Daniel:
"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit. Whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.
"A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." (Dan. 7:9-10)
     What will be our eventual end?  Those who trust in Jesus Christ have a glorious future.  An eternity with Him and the redeemed, throughout all ages; forever!  What a terrible ending awaits those who have neglected Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Our Lord Jesus warned, "When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: "And before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
"And He shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
"Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
"Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." (Matt. 25:31-34, 41, 46)

                         WHAT ARE HEAVEN & HELL REALLY LIKE?

Jesus told the story of a rich man who died in unbelief and went to Hell:
"There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
"And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  
   "And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
"But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
"Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
"And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." (Luke 16:19-31)
No wonder Jesus spoke about "weeping and gnashing of teeth" in torments for those who are everlastingly lost! (Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30)

                                          HEAVEN IS PARADISE!

In the Apocalypse, Jesus Christ shows us the marvellous New Jerusalem. Oh, what a hope the “redeemed of all ages” have through Jesus Christ our Lord. And He shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, and of the Lamb.
“In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month:  and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse:  but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him:
“And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.  And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light:  and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev. 22:1-5)
Jesus warns, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone:  which is the second death”. (Rev. 21:8)
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let him that heareth say, Come.  And let him that is athirst come.  And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17)
Jesus said to the repentent thief on the cross, "This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise". (Luke 23:43)
St. Paul wrote about being "caught up into paradise..." (2 Cor. 12:4), and Jesus Christ's message to the Church at Ephesus was, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches, To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God". (Rev. 2:7)
My appeal to everyone reading these lines is, “Repent of your sins today, receive Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and prepare your heart for the coming of the Lord”.
Then, seek God for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and power, in order to become an effective witness for Jesus Christ and a blessing to your fellowmen!
Amen and Amen!